Mental illness refers to a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behaviour, usually associated with distress or impairment in important areas of functioning (WHO 2022).
The AIHW collects, analyses and reports on a broad range of mental health-related data and information and updates the web report Mental health services in Australia as new data becomes available.
Mental health services in Australia describes the activity and characteristics of Australia’s health care and social care services accessed by people with a mental illness.
This section includes a range of mental health‑related services provided in Australia by various levels of government.
This section includes health expenditure (what was spent), health funding (funding provided and who provided the funds), where mental health services are delivered and the types and number of specialist and generalist mental health workers.
A safe and high-quality health system provides the most appropriate care, while keeping patients safe from preventable harm. Measuring aspects of safety and quality is important in all areas of the health system, including mental health.
Key sections include:
Australia’s Health 2022 and Australia’s Welfare 2021 both have a mix of statistical snapshots and data insights that explore topical health and welfare issues including data and information on the mental health of Australians.
These reports include various sections on mental health.
There are a wide range of mental illnesses that vary in severity and duration. Not only can it have negative impacts on individuals and their families, but its influence is also far-reaching for society. Social problems commonly associated with mental illness include poverty, unemployment or reduced productivity and homelessness. People with mental illness often experience problems such as isolation, discrimination and stigma.
Around 8.6 million or 43.7% of Australians aged 16-85 had experienced a mental health disorder at some point in their life, according to the 2020-21 National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The AIHW estimates that around $11.0 billion per annum is spent on mental health-related services in Australia. Services include residential and community services, hospital based services (both inpatient and outpatient), consultation with specialists and general practitioners.
As well as producing Mental health services in Australia, the AIHW also provides data analytical support to the National Mental Health Commission and participates in various national mental health committees.
WHO (World Health Organization) (2022) Mental disorders, WHO, accessed 3 August 2022.
AIHW has two other sites relating to specific areas of mental health. These are updated progressively as new data becomes available.
Data and information on suicide and self-harm in Australia
Information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention.
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